Shirts for a Gentleman

Last fall, right before I hit the wall sewing wise I’d taken on one of my rare commissions (I don’t usually sew for others unless its totally on my terms).
But when my wonderful dancing master Sievert asked me if I could help him update his historical shirts I couldn’t say no.

He needed both a new medieval and a new regency shirt to use on our dance recitals.

So I got some nice cotton (I know linnen would be more accurate but I was to make them on machine anyway. And they needed to be easy to wash and care for), made some quick pattern calculations and cut the rectangles needed for both the shirts.

Then I stopped, put my head in the sand and closed my eyes to everything sewing/historical (because pregnancy can do that to you)

More then 10 months later (after the birth of my son, and then some), I was once more ready to tackle the shamefully late commission.

So after one intense week of sewing in between feedings, I managed to sew and deliver both shirts.img_0882

The process went pretty fast and straight forward except one little hiccup –
While putting the last hand on and pressing the Medievals shirt I noticed the seam allowance on the outside on one of the sleeves.

Meaning i’ve put it in inside out.

Crap!

So it was on to un-picking the french felled seam (with hand finishing:-( )
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I then turned the sleeve outside- in and re-attached it, pressed and once more used tiny hand stitches to fell the seam.

There done!

Or, wait a second…

NOOOOoooo!!!

I done the exact same mistake AGAIN!

Some of you might remember that I’ve done this before (on my Borgia chemise les then a month before).

How is it even possible that I didn’t learn?
By now I tossed the damned thing into the corner and went to sleep, debating with myself if I could leave it like that.
Of course I couldn’t – It was  a commission piece after all.

So bring back the seam ripper.

The only trouble was that these folded french seams needs really small seam allowance to look good, and the only way to achieve that is by trimming it after you stitched the first seam. This practice, and the fact I’ve done it wrong not one, but twice, meant that I cut of about 1,5 cm on the left shoulder compared to the right. Making the whole garment a bit of.

Once the sleeve was re-set, a third time, I quickly finished and packed the shirt away, out of sight.

The finished medieval shirt:img_0420

img_0388The final result after all the re-stitching.

img_0428Sleeve with ties

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Then it was time to get cracking on the Regency shirt.

This time I didn’t do the same mistake (Hurray!), and the shirt was finished in a few days.

The finished Regency shirt: img_0873

img_0878Metal buttons on a standing collar.

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The two shirts now at their new home.img_0884Lets hope he gets a lot of wear out of them.

Regency Apron – Photoshoot

For the photos of my new apron I wanted to try to copy the inspiration print s much as possible, and since I haven’t made the rest of the outfit, I picked some pieces from my existing costume wardrobe that would some what give the right look.

I’m wearing my white regency evening gown, regency stays, cap, fichu, mittens and a few different hats and bonnets (like my green silk 1860s, brown velvet 1840s) for props.

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Behind the scenesimg_2436

Regency Apron (HSM 1/2017)

Since my plan is to go for easy pieces this year (yeah, Erhm, sorry that ship’s already sailed) I decided to submit a lovely piece of clothing I started sometime this fall and only finished a little while ago.

Namely this pretty Apron:8b05963d5ee97df4f28e42f9f5f09e09I loved this print since I first saw it and been wanting to re-create it for quite some time.

The first thing I did was to dig up a piece of soft cotton satin in a lovely dark green color, which I scored for basically nothing at a flee-market a while back.
The fabric was only 1 m long but that was exactly enough.img_2191Some creative cutting (without piecing, Yay!)

img_2198I started by hemming the sides, and  bust “flap”, using my sewing machine, since sewing time is scarce at the moment.

Then I stitched and turned the tubes that was to become the shoulder straps.img_2200

The hardest part was to figure out the bust flap and the closing, since I wanted to be able to wear it in several different ways (Flap up/down, Straps straight/crossed at back)img_2228I ended up only attaching the flap at the “waist” so that it could either be folded down (hidden) or pinned to the straps if worn up.

Then I marked the buttonhole placement, and stitched them (using my machine). img_2232

I finished by adding the buttons, and a 10 cm wide piece of linen to the hem to give it some weight. img_2313

The finished apron:
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Bust flap down and crossed straps in back: img_2302

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 1/2017 “Firts & Last”

What: a Regency apron

How It fits the challenge: It would be one of the last pieces you put on before leaving the house/doing your chores. It’ also the my first venture into the late Regency/early Biedermeier but not my last since I now wish to make the whole outfit from the inspiration print.

Pattern: None, I drafted my own – It’s basically a trapeze with shoulder straps.

Fabric: 1 m green cotton satin and 15 cm white linen for hem binding.

Notions: Thread and buttons

Historical accurate: Besides from the machine stitching and maybe to “weak” fabric I would say it is pretty good. The shape is good and the construction is plausible. about 6/10

Time: About 4 hours – figuring out the construction took the longest time.

Cost: 30 Sek (3 Usd) – got to love those flee Market bargains.

First worn: Mid January for pictures

Final thoughts: I think it looks pretty good, and helps “dress down” my more fancy frocks in a pretty way.

2016 in Review

2016 is one of those years we will always remember for it’s tragic events, raising lack of humanity/ compassion for the most vulnerable in our society (and world).

But for me, 2016 will always be one of the mot important years in my life – it’s the year my son was born.

Thus a big change in my priority’s (and time/energy) leaving my sewing somewhat on the backwater.
And taking into account that I had a 6 months hiatus from sewing last winter(Oct 2015 – April 2016) there is a miracle I managed anything at all. But I did actually finish a few items both before and after my delivery in June.

And here they are:

1790s printed Roundgown:
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Viscose 1790s Roundgown (both with and without baby-bump)IMG_9669

Regency Petticoat IMG_9661

Babyclothes:
Modern:
Jackets, bodys, pants, hats and rompers several of each.IMG_9732 IMG_9915

Historical:
A hat and shirt for a newborn IMG_0282

Halloween:
Henry VIII Costumeimg_1718

Menswear:
(not yet posted about)

Medieval shirt:img_0416

Regency Shirt:img_0861

1950s turquoise viscose dress:IMG_0842

1450s Italian Gown:img_0524

1400s Chemise IMG_0334

1450s Italian Court Gown img_0442

1550s Elizabethan gown:img_1581

Brocade gown img_1480

  Quilted petticoatimg_1033

I’ve also finished a few minor projects like, hemming skirts/pants, sewing curtains/pillows, adjusting dresses etc.

And as always I have a few things on their way which I didn’t manged to finish before the new year (but which hopefully will be completed in he following months).

Al in all I think I did pretty well with my 3 mayor project, which all has been on my wishlist for quite some time.

18th century/Regency Dance recital

In the end of April my dance team attended a the local event called “dance week”, where teams and dancers from all genres in dance.

The theme was 18th century/regency and we all dressed in our favorite costumes. I wore my new regency Round Gown (which I only just finished that same morning…)

We had a short recital and then invited the on-lockers to participate for a few dances.

The whole event was pretty low key, with only a few on-lockers, but it felt good to once more dress up and move my ever growing body.

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IMG_6027Together with some of the interested public.

IMG_6118The whole team gathered.

Regency Round Gown – Construction

Long time no seen.
I´ve been living in my bubble for the past couple of months, but I have been creating some small tings while taking a break from blogging.

In the beginning of April, I got into my head that maybe I should join the dance team for one last performance before my time was due.
The recital was a 18th century/Regency themed one, set to April 24 (two weeks from then) – and I had nothing to wear.

You would think I’d be able to use one of my regency dresses (with lots of space for my growing belly), but unfortunately some other parts of me had grown as well (yes I´m talking to you, boobs), and there was no way I could close any of my old dresses.

So, a new one it is…

I’ve long been planing to make a regency/transitional round gown, and this was my chance.
Not only would it be perfect for accommodating my growing belly, but later it would also work as an “easy to access” nursing gown. Perfect!rd10

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I used the pattern from “Cut of Womens clothes” as a guide for the draping and seam placement, and the “Laughing Moon” wrap front spencer pattern for the front bodice foundation.
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As usual I drafted the pattern and made a mock-up.
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Due to my growing belly, I could not use my regency stays, but trusted a modern sports bra to do the work – after all for this project comfort was a priority.

Once happy with the fit, I when’t through my stash and soon found exactly hat I was after – a beautiful flower viscose in different shades of blue. And the almost 2 m of it would be exactly enough to make the dress.
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I cut the lining in a lavender blue satin (also from stash) and began the assembly.IMG_9601

All the seams in the back melts together from the print, but I do like the structure it gives to the bodice non the les.
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Once the back pieces was ready, it was time to get working on the front.IMG_9615Draping the front pattern

Using two gathering treads, I collected and arranged the fabric at the shoulder and under bust seamIMG_9622

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Before and after gathering the width.

Once the basic shape was done I tweaked it a bit by raising the under bust seam and removing a few cm from the neckline.IMG_9630

I stitched the lining using darts for bust shaping, IMG_9609

and basted the lining to the outer fabric.
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Then I added the sleeves and skirt.IMG_9640 The first look at how it might look once done (skirt just basted at this point).

I tried the dress on, and it fitted like a (very soft and unbelievable comfortable) glove.
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IMG_9655Tiny belly showing…
All that remained was to add ties and buttonhole for clouser and to hem the dress.

But before I could take the dress out for a spin (literally) I needed to make myself a skirt to match, to prevent any mishaps in the “underwear showing through the front opening” category.

Said and done.
I cut two widths of the same lavender fabric and stitched them together.
I pleated the top to a waistband, added shoulder straps, clouser and finished it by hemming.

The finished skirt/petticoat:IMG_9661

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The finished dress:IMG_9669

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IMG_9682Back shoulder

IMG_9683Ties in the back

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Sneak a peak from the photoshoot;IMG_6187

Regency hairdo

I’d be the first to admit that I know nothing about hair – My own are really short and don’t need much attentions, and when I had long hair a couple of years ago, I just wore it in a ponytail or bun.

But with great costumes comes great hair styles… or something like that.

So today I will show you the hairstyle I did on my sister for the Regency ball.IMG_3406

The day before the ball she pinned her hair up in curlers while still wet, and then slept on it.
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The first thing to do was to remove all the hair pins. IMG_3746

And shake the hair out, using the fingers to get it really big and fluffy.IMG_3747

Then I gathered most of the hair in a ponytail, leaving some hanging in the front. Using the ponytail as a base I attached a hair doughnut to add some volume and structure to the do.
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I then twisted and pinned the rest of the hair up in messy curls IMG_3751

Lastly I added the golden headband and secured it with some boby-pins.
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The finished hairdo at the ball.

I could also have left some of the front hair curls hanging to get another effect.

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IMG_3415The finished hair do at the photoshoot.

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Peace of cake.